theses and dissertations, electronic theses and dissertations, ETD management


The management of theses and dissertations has been a matter of continuing discussion within the archives profession since the 1950s. With the establishment of electronic theses and dissertations (ETD) submission requirements in 1997, American universities have sought to provide researchers more equitable access to these materials. This shift in format appears to have raised additional questions about the status of theses and dissertations (TDs) as records, and their ongoing preservation requirements. The poster reports on an investigation of current practices for collaborating in the management of TDs by university archivists in the United States. This review focuses on the content of online publications related to TDs, such as university archives websites, institutional repository policies, and retention schedules. It also reports on a survey of archivists involved in the management of these materials. This exploration of existing practices focuses on procedural concerns, such as the maintenance of print copies, digital preservation, microfilming, and participation in external databases of TDs. It also explores the relationships between university archives programs and institutional repositories in ETD submission/management, and the status of theses/dissertations as student records.

Original Publication Citation

Nimer, Cory L., Rebecca A. Wiederhold. “Archives and the Management of Theses and Dissertations: An Exploratory Study.” Poster presented at the 2022 Research Forum, Society of American Archivists, virtual, August 3, 2022.

Document Type


Publication Date



Society of American Archivists




Harold B. Lee Library

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor